The Quattro Plant Kawasaki team were back in British Superbike Championship action at the weekend with the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk the latest venue to be visited and whilst it was a bit of a mixed weekend, Chris Walker ran consistently inside the top six to maintain his drive towards one of the coveted Showdown positions.
The Nottingham rider was strong throughout practice and qualifying and he duly lined up in a strong sixth place on the grid for Sunday’s opening 16-lap race. A solid start saw him maintain that position as he challenged Ryuichi Kiyonari for fifth and although the former triple Champion edged away slightly, he was still running in sixth at two thirds race distance. However, with just three laps to go he was cruelly forced out of the race when the battery failed.
Conditions remained extremely warm for the second race where Chris was naturally keen to make amends and he did exactly that. Running once more in the company of Kiyonari and also James Westmoreland, he ran in sixth place from start to finish for his fourth top six finish in five races. The DNF dropped him back to eighth place in the table but he’s now only eight points behind new fifth placed man Kiyonari.
Team-mate Danny Buchan enjoyed a stronger weekend and had it not been for a technical problem, he would have qualified higher than his eventual 20th place. The Basildon rider strung together 16 consistent laps in the first race to claim 14th place for his second points scoring ride of the season. He was well placed again in the second only to slide off, uninjured, on the sixth lap.
Third team member Kyle Wilks also enjoyed a better weekend with the youngster taking a fine 13thplace in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship race.
Pete Extance, Team Manager: “I seem to be using the same opening sentence each time but it’s been another mixed weekend for us! Chris was in a determined, confident mood all weekend so hopes were high of two more good results and had it not been for a bit of bad luck he’d have got exactly that. He ran in sixth place pretty much all weekend and put together two excellent races so it was a shame the battery went in the first one but that’s how racing can go sometimes. He bounced back excellently and although we’re slightly disappointed to have slipped back to eighth overall, other results mean the race for fifth has tightened up so we’re still very handily placed.”
“It was nice to see Danny have a strong ride in the first race and even more pleasing to see him finish in the points. He brought the bike home for a good finish and it was just what he needed. He had an unfortunate tip off in the second but overall, it’s been a much more positive weekend for that side of the garage. Kyle also had a good result and it will be excellent for his confidence after a couple of tough rounds. Finally, it was really good to have John Murphy from Quattro Plant with the team this weekend and hopefully we’ve given him a weekend to be both pleased with and proud of.”
The next round of the series takes place in two weeks time at Brands Hatch, Kent on July 19-21.
Pictures by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Phil Wain Freelance PR
Mermaids scuba diving center in Pattaya Thailand sponsors the Bournemouth Kawasaki Team for 2013.